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A New Walk Through Boston's History

August 06, 2000

There's a new permanent exhibit and tours, just off Boston's Freedom Trail historic walk, that focus on the city's immigrant and ethnic history.

Opened last week, "Dreams of Freedom" is a 10,000-square-foot exhibit in a building on the site where Benjamin Franklin was born and lived until he was 17 (his actual home has long since disappeared). It offers a multimedia show on immigrants from the Puritans through modern times, galleries where visitors can navigate the maze of immigration laws via computer and changing exhibits.

"We tried to take a good, hard look at immigration policy" and its inequities, said Westy Egmont, executive director of the nonprofit International Institute of Boston, whose offices house the exhibit at 1 Milk St. in central Boston. It is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m daily. Adult admission is $7.50.

Egmont's organization last week also began offering a free, self-guided walking-tour brochure called the "Immigrant Trail" and a three-hour guided tour focusing on the Jewish history of the city's North End (9:30 a.m. Thursdays May through mid-October, $39 per person, including lunch). Tel. (617) 338-6022.

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